Tag Archives: Andrew Murray

Surrendering our power

From my devotional book, Living the Christ Life, this was too good not to share.   This is what Step One is all about: Admitting we are powerless over our compulsion and that our lives have become unmanageable.

The things which are impossible with men are possible with God. (Luke 18:27)”

Your Christian life is every day to be a proof that God works impossibilities; your life is to be a series of impossibilities made possible and actual by God’s almighty power. Have you learned to deal so closely with an almighty God that you know omnipotence is working in you?

The cause of the weakness of your Christian life is that you want to work it out partly, and to let God “help” you. And that cannot be. You must come to be utterly helpless, to let God work, and God will work gloriously!

I could go through Scripture and prove to you how Moses, when he led Israel out of Egypt, how Joshua, when he brought them into the land of Canaan, how all God’s servants in the Old Testament counted upon the omnipotence of God doing impossibilities. And this God lives *today*, and this God is the God of every child of His!

Yet some of us want God to give us a little help while we do our best, instead of coming to understand what God wants and to say, ” I can do nothing; God must and will do all.” Have you said, “In worship, in work, in sanctification, in obedience to God, I can do nothing of myself, and so my place is to worship the omnipotent God, and to believe that He will work in me every moment?” May God teach us this!

~ Andrew Murray, “Absolute Surrender”

5 Ways to Battle Your Most Deadly Enemy

Uzziah was only 16 when he took the throne as king over Judah.  In the beginning, this young ruler “continued to seek God in the days of Zechariah and as long as he sought the Lord, God prospered him” (2 Chronicles 26:5).    As God blessed him, Uzziah’s fame increased throughout the land.  And then this happened.

But when he [King Uzziah] became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the Lord his God, for he entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense (2 Chron. 26:16)

A few verses later we are told the fate of Uzziah.  His pride prevented him from heeding the correction of the priests and rather than humble himself he grew angry with them.   The Lord struck him with leprosy, and this once obedient, God-fearing king who could do no wrong died a leper, “excluded from the house of the Lord.”

Pride is not just ugly, it’s deadly.  It’s no wonder God hates it so much, and it’s no wonder all of Scripture seems to shout in various ways and means “Stay Humble!”

The number one reason people relapse back into their old sinful habits and addictions is because they fall prey to the lie that they are doing great.   They may in fact be “doing great,” at least in the eyes of the casual observer, but the moment they see themselves as well and in control, look out.   A fall is coming.

After reminding the church in Corinth (and us today) that Israel’s blunders and missteps were recorded to serve as warnings to us (like Uzziah above), he writes,

Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall (1 Cor. 10:12).  

Satan is waiting with outstretched arms and chains made of re-enforced steel to welcome back the one God had prospered and blessed who now thinks they can take the wheel.     Friends, whenever pride whispers it’s seductive lie that you can take it from here you need to crank up some Carrie Underwood or something, anything that will help ensure Jesus takes, and keeps, the wheel!

I have found in my own life that freedom is a daily choice and the choice is this: Will I live in my own strength and power and might, or will I turn my will and my desire over to God.    I must daily die to my self so that His strength, His grace, His power, His mercy, His spirit can manifest itself in me.    Left to myself, on my own, I am a mess.


So how do we do that?  What are some practical ways you can keep from taking the wheel back and do battle with this most deadly enemy called PRIDE?

1.  Pray, pray pray.    There is no other way.   Print out the Mercy Prayer which is HERE and keep it in your back pocket or purse and read it and pray it every day, all the time.   Pray it over others, yourself, your wife, your children, those who offend you, those you lust after, those you despise and those you cherish.     Praying mercy for others kills the root of bitterness and strife within us which pride thrives upon.

2.  Pray for humility.  Pray not just for humility, but pray that you would love to be humbled.  Andrew Murray, in his excellent book “Humility” (which you must read), taught me that I needed to pray for this queen of virtues.  It does not come naturally to any of us, and must be sought.    Jesus said we should seek the kingdom and his righteousness, and that blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.   Humility is to live rightly before God and neighbor.    Do you hunger for this?   Pray that you will.

3.  Read.  In addition to staying in God’s word daily, read books about pride and humility.    Murray’s book mentioned above is a great one.   The book I’m re-reading now, Irresistible to God, is another.   Going through Fenelon’s  Seeking Heart as a daily devotional is another excellent practice.

4.  Seek out ways to go low.   “Going low” is the opposite or “rising up” in pride.   Throughout the day there will be numerous opportunities where you can go low.    When someone says something that offends you, you can choose to ignore it and pray for them.  When you really want to ensure you get in line in time to get one of the few pieces of cake left, choose instead to hold the door open for others.   When your spouse has sinned against you and you just know you didn’t do anything wrong, be the first one to say you are sorry.    The more  you practice going low the more this virtue will grow within you and become part of you.   Every fiber of your being will resist it at first (and throughout your life, most likely), but press on by repeating # 1 above.

5.  Consider Jesus.   I have probably preached or mentioned Hebrews 12:1-3 more than anything else this past year apart from 2 Cor. 5:17.  It reads,

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

Whenever you feel like rising up inside (or presently are doing just that!), consider Jesus who, like a silent lamb who did nothing wrong, went to the cross for your sins and mine.    I’ve yet to be faced with a situation where just one glimpse of Jesus suffering on a cross for me hasn’t helped to diffuse.  It makes all my prideful assertions over my “rights” seem petty and cheap and gives me the strength I need to be obedient in humility.   Does it sometimes hurt?  Of course!   But count it joy that we get to share in the sufferings of Christ! (Rom. 8:17)

Practice these 5 things on a regular, if not daily, basis and avoid the trap into which Uzziah and so many before and after him have fallen.  Pride is not just serious, it’s deadly.

I’ll leave you with these words I have written in the front cover flap of my bible given to me by a great teacher on humility.  Feel free to put them in yours, too:

Chad, you leave your first love and lose the filling of the Spirit by a judging, critical heart which refuses to pass on to all others the mercy by which you alone live.   The love of lowliness and mercy defeats and destroys that spirit of emulation which is the love of achievement or place or plans.


You Have a Need-To-Know Spirit

You’ve got a need-to-know spirit.

I heard this once or a thousand times from the staff at Pure Life.   Any time someone was found desiring to know something they had no business knowing, looking around trying to pick up conversation others were having, asking “Who are you talking about?” to anyone, etc., they were told they have a need-to-know spirit. 


To the average person that might sound like making a big deal out of nothing, but to the addict it will make a lot of sense.   The addict knows all-to-well the urge from deep within to know more than they really ought to know, to experience something or someone they have no business experiencing, to find what lies just beyond the next pill, hit, bottle, hookup, website, etc., etc.    Addicts have a thirst to know stuff, and to be known by stuff.

Just the wrong stuff. 

Our desire to know more than we ought has been with us from the beginning.   It was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that God forbid our first parents to eat from (Gen. 2:17), and it was the prospect of knowing that enticed them both to grasp beyond that which God prescribed.   Since then we have been consumed with an insatiable appetite to know and be known, partaking of anything forbidden in order that we might be like God.  That we might know

You have a need-to-know spirit.  

The writer of Ecclesiastes realized the vanity of such a life near the end of his own.   The wise man who would not deny himself from knowing anything his eyes desired (Ecc. 2:10) finally came to know something we are learning today: 

For in much wisdom is much vexation,
    and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow (Ecc. 1:18)

We live in an age today where we know more stuff than at any other time in history.   At my fingertips on this laptop is a world of knowledge, anything my heart desires.    And yet, is it not true that the more we know, as the preacher of Ecclesiastes states, the more sorrowful we become?    A recent study done by the University of Michigan concluded that the more people use Facebook, the less happy they are.   They found that the more people knew about what other people were doing, the less satisfied they were with their own lives.  

Our desire to know can cause us to be anything from being dissatisfied with life to being addicted to pornography.    This is why the staff at Pure Life were intent upon squashing the need-to-know spirit in all of us.   

How can you squash it in yourself?   Apart from having someone in your life who will call you on it every time it rises up, you can do this: 

  • Name it.    Recognizing that this spirit exists in you, and that it works against God’s desire for you.  Confess your pride of life and repent.  
  • Pray for humility.    It is a prideful heart which thinks it deserves to know more than it ought.   Seek ways to purposefully humble yourself.  Ask God to provide them.  He will! 
  • Two books I highly recommend are Andrew Murray’s Humility: The Journey Toward Holiness and Irresistible to God by Steve Gallagher.    Both will help you better understand the nature and workings of pride and the beauty and freedom of humility, which is a gift from God. 
  • And finally, and most importantly, direct your thirst for knowledge God-ward.   Commit yourself to chunks of time each day to gorge on God’s word.   Spend time talking with God each and every day.   Get to know God.   Pray to know, and be known, by Him and Him alone. 

We all have a need-to-know spirit.   But by God’s grace, we can overcome it.  I pray that this is as helpful for you as much as it is for me, and that together we can halt our grasping of that which we have no business knowing.